Raising a child can be expensive: almost $200,000 to raise a child to 18 years old. To support parents with the cost of raising their child, and help each child fulfil their potential, there are various government schemes to provide much-needed financial support. From the day a Singaporean baby is born, parents can expect to receive up to $24,000 in baby grants. This includes a baby bonus cash gift of at least $11,000 (payable over a period of 6.5 years), as well as the Child Development Account (CDA) First Step Grant of $5,000 and maximum government co-matching sum of $4,000. On top of this, newborns will also get $4,000 in MediSave Grants.
Another financial resource the government provides your child with is the Edusave account that the government sets up for your child when they are of schooling age. Your child’s Edusave account is to relieve the financial costs of their educational needs, but how you use the funds in your child’s Edusave is up to you. From 2024, the Edusave scheme will be extended to fully cover primary school fees.
Understanding what the Edusave scheme can do for your child will help you make an informed decision on how you spend it over the course of your child’s education. Here’s a guide on the important things you need to know about Edusave.
Read Also: Complete Guide to Baby Grants in Singapore
#1 Edusave Is Automatic And Compulsory For Singaporean Students
Edusave is a compulsory account that is set up for every Singaporean child upon their admission into a recognised institute (up to secondary school) automatically if they are between the ages of 6 and 16.
Edusave is administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and is not a bank account.
#2 What Can I Use My Edusave Account For?
Your child’s Edusave account can only be used for approved 2nd-tier miscellaneous fees in MOE-funded schools. As mentioned, the Edusave scheme will be extended in 2024 to cover all miscellaneous fees. Edusave monies can also be used for enrichment programmes and certain personal learning devices. Schools require parental consent for every Edusave deduction. In some cases, there is a percentage of co-payment involved as Edusave does not cover 100% of the programme fees.
You cannot withdraw from your child’s Edusave unless it is to an approved institution or programme. Funds in your child’s Edusave account earn an interest of 2.5% per annum.
#3 How Are Funds Added Into My Child’s Edusave Account?
Government Annual Top-ups: Every February, the government makes a yearly contribution to your child’s Edusave account until they reach the age of 16. The figure is announced every year as it changes. In 2023, the annual contribution is $230 for primary-level students and $290 for secondary-level students.
One-off Budget Top-ups: Occasionally, there may be one-off top-ups provided to Edusave accounts . In 2023, as part of the Assurance Package, every Singaporean child aged between 7 and 16 received a one-off $300 top-up to their Edusave account in May 2023. Those between 17 and 20 received a similar top-up to their Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA), while those between 0 and 6 will get a one-off $400 top-up to their CDA account.
Edusave Awards And Scholarships: Singaporean students who excel academically and non-academically are sometimes awarded Edusave awards or scholarships. These funds are then added to the respective student’s accounts.
Edusave Grants: Government-funded special education schools are given an additional grant to support any school-based achievement awards for outstanding students. If your child is a qualifying student in such a school, they will receive additional grants they can add to their Edusave.
#4 What Happens To My Child’s Edusave When They Leave School?
Your child’s Edusave account will be closed in the year your child turns 17 years old or when they are no longer studying in an MOE-funded school. This is usually when they leave secondary school. Any unused Edusave funds are transferred into a Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA). Your child will receive a letter when the transfer takes place.
The PSEA balance earns an interest of 2.5% per annum interest, just like the Edusave funds. This account is held until your child is 30 years of age.
After the age of 30, any remaining funds are transferred to the person’s CPF OA, which can be used for housing, education, and investments. Alternatively, your child’s PSEA funds can be transferred to their siblings as well.
#5 What Can I Use My PSEA Funds For?
You can use your PSEA funds to offset the cost of approved programmes and fees in almost the same way you use your Edusave.
– Spending it for approved fees and charges
– Establish standing order for approved recurring charges
– Ad-hoc withdrawal applications
– Pay loans and approved financing schemes
For instance, your child has graduated from secondary school and is enrolled in a local polytechnic. The leftover funds will be directed to their PSEA account which they can now use to pay for school fees or approved school-related courses.
Alternatively, it can even be used for a university student’s overseas exchange programme, at arts institutions or even at certain public agencies and private training providers.
#6 How Can I Find Out My Edusave / PSEA Balance?
A statement of account is sent to you by end of March every year. Alternatively, you can call the Edusave/PSEA hotline at 6260 0777 to check on your account balance.
Make The Most Of Your Child’s Edusave / PSEA By Being Informed
Knowing how the funds can be used can help you plan for future education-related expenditures for your child. With proper planning, these funds can go a long way in elevating your child’s holistic educational development, as they are not held back by any financial constraints.
This article was originally published on 14 November 2019 and updated to reflect new information.
Listen to our podcast, where we have in-depth discussions on finance topics that matter to you.